Jonah Spivak

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Democracy in a small town is democracy at its best. You can speak to a Select Board member on the street or at the grocery store to ask questions, discuss issues of concern, or make suggestions. You don’t need an appointment to talk to town staff — you can call us, email us, or simply stop in. Our small town democracy works because we are literally working directly for you. We also can’t do this work without you.

To assist in doing the work of Town government we have 10 boards and commissions. These boards and commissions provide community members the ability to play a direct role in the work of the town in areas that are of interest to them or where they might have particular expertise or experience. These range from helping with land use planning, such as the Development Review Board, building trust and improving community policing with the Community Policing Advisory Review Board, addressing housing issues with the Housing Authority, helping preserve our historic heritage with the Historic Preservation Commission, or even helping fight climate change with the Energy Committee.

Whatever your passion, consider putting your talents to work by volunteering for an open spot on a board or commission.

New this year is the Community Policing Advisory Review Board (CPARB). This new board was the result of work from the Safety and Equity Task Force that was set up last year, and a resolution creating the CPARB was enacted this past March. Five to seven people are being sought to fill this new role to provide meaningful involvement in safety, equity, and community policing efforts. You can learn more about this new board on the town website at https://benningtonvt.org/boards-commissions/cparb/.

All told, we need 15-17 members of our community to step up to play a role in helping guide our town. Your voice, the voices of the people in our Town … those are the voices we need to help the Town grow and thrive. Our town employee motto? “Serving people through teamwork.” Please consider joining the team!

You can get more information about the boards and commissions on the town website at https://benningtonvt.org/boards-commissions/get-involved/ . The deadline for sending in your letter of interest is May 16. Interviews for the positions are usually held in the following couple of weeks with the goal of having all the new board members and commissioners seated by June 1.

The Town is currently accepting “letters of Interest” from the community to fill the spots currently open on boards and commissions. A letter of interest is simply a letter from you expressing your interest in serving on a board or commission. Mail the letter to the town at PO Box 469, Bennington, VT, 05201, ATTN: Stuart Hurd, and town staff will respond with next steps. You can also drop off the letter in person if you prefer.

Jonah Spivak is the communication coordinator for the town of Bennington. Notes from Town Hall — an official look at the doings, comings and goings from Bennington town government — runs occasionally.


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